Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Plywood Tiger to be Unleashed at Worcester Center for Craft: Exhibit features work by John Hyden

Worcester, MA—An exhibit of paintings and constructions created by John Hyden of Worcester, MA entitled Plywood Tiger will go on view in the Krikorian Gallery of the Worcester Center for Crafts beginning September 22, 2016. The show will open with a reception honoring the artist from 5:30-7:30 pm on Thursday, September 22. The exhibit and reception is free to the public. The show is on view through November 5.

(L) Detail of Plywood Tiger by John Hyden     (R) The artist, John Hyden, pictured at the Worcester Art Museum

Plywood Tiger is the first solo show of Hyden’s work since 2005 and will reflect his most current thinking about art and the medium of painting. “Sometimes, there are no words that can express a thought or feeling; only a visual image can open the chambers of our hearts,” explains Hyden. “Art is the way I discover myself, the way I see what’s in those chambers.” The work on display has not been exhibited before.

“I’m not even sure what it will look like,” said Hyden. The work is made up of 104 8 inch x 8 inch plywood tiger constructions and the exhibit will be the first time they are seen together.

John Hyden has traversed from west to east, growing up in Texas and now residing in Worcester where he works at the Worcester Art Museum as a Museum Preparator with a specialty in mount making. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting from Southwest Texas State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.

Hyden has exhibited widely in the west and on the east coast. He was an adjunct professor at Worcester State College from 2005-2011 where he taught visual design (three-dimensional design) and figure drawing.

“I think visitors will be intrigued by the variety in John’s work,” said Candace Casey, Krikorian Gallery Director. “His painted surfaces, the scale he chooses, the dynamic stresses between color and form—it will speak to you!” The show includes one painting: the Plywood Tiger; two optical drawings (each 34 x 32); 9 collages; and one sculpture, made up of 9 individual sculptures, the Blake Blocks. The Blake Blocks are beautiful wooden constructions in which an origami bird with a quote from William Blake the poet on it is hidden. The conundrum of Hyden’s Blake Blocks (in order to access the message of Blake’s poetry one must destroy the Block and the bird) is like the conundrum of life. Hyden will speak about these Blocks and more at an artist’s talk will be held on Thursday, October 13 at 5:30 pm in the Krikorian Gallery.

“The title Plywood Tiger refers to work featured in the exhibit that references the pattern of a tiger’s coat,” said Honee Hess, Craft Center Executive Director. “Or is that the reference? Visitors will decide.”

Gallery admission is free of charge, as is the artist’s talk and reception. Krikorian Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm.

About the Worcester Center for Crafts:

The Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) is one of the oldest non-profit institutions for craft study in the United States. Founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society to help immigrant women produce and sell hand-crafted wares to support their families, the Center evolved over the past 155 years into New England's leading center for craft education, exhibition and entrepreneurship. In 2004, the organization expanded and opened the New Street Glass Studio - an off-campus, 8,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, multi-studio glass facility. The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass studio program in New England available to the public. Through an affiliation begun in 2009, the WCC is home to the Worcester State University visual arts studios and partners in community outreach.

The Craft Center's mission is "to sustain craft as a vital part of our community" by providing high-quality craft education and training, by supporting craft artists in their professions, and through advocacy and public education initiatives including adult education classes and workshops, , exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, and major events. It is premiering its new Youth Craft + Creativity program in October, 2016. The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and its WOO Pass program, and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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